I’ve taken cruises for twenty years. Here are my top three suggestions for avoiding ship crowds.

Join Morning Brew to receive the greatest tips for living more wisely. Although I’ve lost track of how many cruises I’ve taken in my lifetime, it’s reasonable to estimate that at least a dozen of them took place in the past 20 years.

When I was a child, my family and I first went on a few Disney cruises, but when I was a teenager, we switched to Royal Caribbean, and we’ve been with them ever since.

We’ve accumulated Diamond Plus status with Royal Caribbean throughout that period, which grants us privileged access and treatment that first-time cruisers won’t receive.

It also means that throughout the years, I’ve developed strategies for avoiding the lineups, crowds, and little annoyances that come with taking a boat ride with a large number of other passengers.

you haven’t cruised enough to get status and, if you can afford it, renting a suite, will grant you immediate access to VIP pool decks, preferred seats at shows, shorter queues, lounges with free drinks, and concierge service.

Only “Sky” and “Star” suite passengers aboard Royal Caribbean ships have access to the Suite Sun Deck by the pools. Never once have I had difficulties getting a seat.

If you wish to skip the buffet lines, suite guests also have access to their own specialized restaurant named Coastal Kitchen .

Special lines for boarding and disembarking the ship are also provided by having status or reserving a suite. When I was an adolescent, a staff employee once gave me a sign that said “VIP” to hold. It truly gave me a sense of specialness.

AVOID FOLLOWING THE GROUP. It could be tempting to get up early in order to avoid missing anything or to follow the crowd. Going at your own pace, though, is the greatest way to dodge the crowds without spending more money.

Take a nap! Grab breakfast just before they close. Instead of the buffet, visit the cafe. Call for room service. Do you relish rising early? Change it to that!

Wait until the line stops moving when you see everyone else rushing to leave the ship. Or stay aboard the ship the entire time. My family and I rode the Anthem of the Seas’ North Star ride when we were in port, and there was no line.

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Lastly, cruise ships are enormous. They resemble floating buildings in essence. You can locate areas where people aren’t gathered if you look around long enough. On deck four or five, beneath the lifeboats, there is typically a peaceful outdoor area where you can relax in a lounge chair.

Additionally, if you reserve a room with a balcony, you get the entire area to yourself.